Stung GSM operators approach government

Stung GSM operators approach government

New Delhi: Stung by the proposed criteria for spectrum allocation to existing players, GSM operators on Thursday petitioned the government and termed the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) as flawed.

In a detailed letter to the department of telecom, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said: “Recommendations on spectrum allocation and pricing have been made by Trai without following the due process as also mandate of transparency as required... These issues were not raised as a part of the consultative process nor were the inputs from various stakeholders shared transparently."

The regulator had on 29 August suggested framing new spectrum allocation criteria for mobile operators as part of its recommendations on review of licence terms. It had asked the government to enhance the present subscriber norms for spectrum allocation and also suggested raising the spectrum prices for GSM players.

COAI accused the regulator of bias, saying there was no separate analysis for CDMA services. GSM and CDMA are two technology platforms in the cellphone industry. GSM-based operators include Bharti Airtel, Vodafone-Essar and Idea Cellular, while the CDMA field is dominated by Reliance Communication and Tata Teleservices.